When my siblings and I were young, our parents gave us a choice: pick one instrument and one sport. For me the choices were obvious; the violin as my instrument and dance as my sport. There was just one tiny problem… Mennonites don’t dance.
Growing up Mennonite, I was completely normal, and although my church was like any other Christian denomination there was one old fashioned, unspoken rule my parents still adhered to. Dancing was not really allowed. I begged and pleaded for YEARS, and finally wore them down my freshman year of high school. I found the closest dance studio and signed up immediately. By that point I think they felt guilty about depriving me of the only athletic activity I was any good at and started paying for my classes and any “gear” I wanted.
I was too old to start ballet so I did just about everything else. Between the last years of my high school career and throughout college I took every single opportunity to dance that came my way. When I moved to New York I had been particularly missing my college dance company and then I miraculously stumbled across a small studio that offered adult beginner ballet near my apartment. I knew it was finally time to make sense of all those French terms and step up to the bar.
Let me tell you, it is SO MUCH harder than I imagined, and nothing has made my calves hurt more, but I love it. And the happy ending to fulfilling this life long dream to be a ballerina? I’m not half bad at it either. Good enough to be asked back for an advanced class.